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Law Office Management

May 20, 2014

Terminations: Self-auditing tips from hiring to firing

If you dread the thought of having to fire someone, you’re in excellent company. But as with any professional hurdle, it’s made immeasurably worse by going in unprepared. The termination process is one that can be researched, managed and even avoided altogether by putting in place a system that removes as much guesswork as possible […]

Mar 26, 2014

Self-help legal sites: How do lawyers compete?

Lawyers know today’s potential legal clients likely went to the web first when they pondered a legal matter. That’s why lawyers are routinely advised to have a strong online presence. But those potential clients may never make it to your office. Or they may only show up after their attempts at self-help have failed. The […]

Mar 24, 2014

The future of legal staffing

Technology and the lessons learned in the wake of the recent recession have conspired to change the model of law firm staffing. Traditionally, every lawyer at a firm had his own secretary and often a paralegal as well. Today, only a handful of lawyers have their own assistant and lawyers typically share paralegals with fellow […]

Oct 28, 2013

A field guide to millennials and generational differences

BALTIMORE, MD — Sitting in the lobby of a large, prestigious Maryland organization where I was waiting to meet with a client, I was struck, no, I was stunned, to see several young men walk in for a meeting wearing cargo shorts, flip-flops and T-shirts. It was clear they were from an outside organization coming […]

Oct 22, 2013

Looking ahead: Ways to future-proof your firm

The future of private law practice has been the subject of much speculation for the last several years. While some partners behave as if things will go back to business as usual, most of those who are paying attention believe we are headed to a “new normal” in our future. Among the factors cited to […]

Sep 16, 2013

Quality of clients = Quality of practice

If you, like many of your colleagues, have stocked your practice with clients that aren’t a good fit, you’ll spend much of your career feeling frustrated, unappreciated and resentful. What’s more, you’ll never realize your income potential or find real satisfaction in your chosen career. Our research with many lawyers over many years shows that […]

Sep 10, 2013

The secrets of a strong attorney-client relationship

Think about the lawyer-client relationship from the client’s point of view. Clients seek professional services because they lack the necessary expertise and experience to solve their problem. In hiring you, they gain what they need, but in doing so they also lose something else that’s very important to them — their sense of control over […]

Jun 5, 2013

Watching the clock: Tips for attorneys who want to boost billable hours

Where did the day go, a lawyer wonders as she packs her briefcase to head home. A survey on billable hours focuses on that question and reports on the gap between total hours worked by attorneys and the number of hours devoted daily to nonbillable, work-related activities. Overall, the survey found that the average number […]

May 20, 2013

Hacked: What to do if your office computers are breached

While stories of foreign hackers and data breaches may seem unlikely in the commonwealth, “it can happen to anyone,” warned John Simek, vice president of Sensei Enterprises, a digital forensics and information security company in Fairfax. Take the example of criminal defense firm Puckett & Faraj in Alexandria. Last year, the firm was one of […]

Apr 29, 2013

Virtual practice: Lawyers hanging a shingle in cyberspace

In Melissa Howell’s employment law practice, she rarely meets with her clients in her Norfolk office space. Instead, her clients prefer to work with her via phone and email or have her come to them, where she can access employment records and interview witnesses. Matthew Kaplan, who practices law out of his home in Arlington, […]

Mar 7, 2013

How to go paperless and address ethical concerns

Lawyers chasing the goal of running a paperless office are finding that both practical and ethical concerns can cause bumps in the road. Are there some documents that must remain in their original – i.e., paper – form? How many years must lawyers keep files before they can be destroyed? Can a law practice ever […]

Feb 19, 2013

Making an elder law practice more efficient

The first and most important step in promoting efficiency is to know your practice areas well. A close second is to aggressively provide training for everyone in your office. Successful firms understand that they must invest in their people, their training, and their technology. When people have the right skills and understand the work process, […]

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